Mondays & Memories of My Mom – A Legacy of Love

To blog or not to blog? That is the question…and I’ve been asking myself that for a while now… as well as, about what should I blog?

Hi! I’m Laura Emerich, and Gloria Pitzer is my mom!

Gloria Pitzer

I’ve always loved to write, draw and craft things since I was very young. The arts (on so many different levels) seemed to run in my blood. If there’s an artistic gene, our family seemed to be blessed with it… and it was something my parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles would always encourage and nurture further in us whenever we created something.

Over the years, my mom has personally inspired me in so many ways…as a writer, artist, crafter, homemaker, cook, mother, teacher, aide, etc. How she managed to juggle all of these same hats with a husband and 5 kids for which to take care always amazed me (except for a few of my teen years, when I thought I knew better than she.) When I became a mother, myself, (and got a little older and wiser) it all made so much more sense – about why she did things the way she did. However, I had only 3 kids and a husband to contend with while doing that hat juggling act; so, I was still amazed at all of her accomplishments. I was always asking her for advice and I loved to learn from her. To me, she was just Mom; but, to the world, she was Gloria Pitzer, “The Secret Recipe Detective”.

Mom and I at her 80th Birthday Party – Photo by Paul Jaekel, Jan. 2016

She was very gifted in her own right as a writer, publisher, artist, crafter, homemaker, cook and so on. Her taste buds and culinary skills, combined with her creative writing skills and sarcastic sense of humor, developed into their own super power. In a time, not unlike what we are in now – with political upheaval, low wages and high costs of living – she found a niche that people wanted – “eating out at home”, she called it – and she set to work, discovering how to mimic fast food & restaurant dishes at home; as well as, shelf-stable grocery items. If it saved her household money, she wanted to share it with others to help them save money too.

She was a trail-blazer in the 70’s – writing her own recipes and marketing her talents through newspapers, magazines, local television talk shows…but, especially through radio talk shows. For nearly 40 years she was a regular on a few local radio talk shows such as “Ask Your Neighbor”, hosted by Bob Allison on WWJ-Radio, which still airs out of the Detroit area today and “Listen to the Mrs.”, which is still hosted by Art Lewis on WSGW-Radio in Saginaw, MI. Mom said Warren Pierce of “The Warren Pierce Show” put her “in touch with some of the most responsive and enthusiastic listening audiences.” That show also still airs out of the Detroit area on WJR-Radio. Mom did radio shows all over the country – mostly by phone, from the comfort of home.

In the early years of her “Secret Recipes” business, Mom sold recipes for a quarter each, printed on 3”x5” index cards from a mimeograph she had in the laundry room. She started with an index of about 200 recipes. She promoted these mostly through radio programs. But, newspapers and magazines also picked up on it quickly, as she blazed that trail of uniqueness among all the ‘Betty Crockers’ and ‘Julia Childs’ of that time, and they wrote articles about her, as well. It didn’t seem to take long before her recipe library grew through requests from fans of her writing. She went from index cards to newsletters and multiple cookbooks in the blink of an eye. Soon, she was getting national, as well as international, recognition. Mom only did a few TV appearances – the first was on “Kelly & Company” in the mid-70’s – a local talk show on WXYZ-TV in Detroit. Later, in the early 80’s, “PM Magazine” created new interests in Mom’s recipes, sending their Detroit television crew to our house (then, in St. Clair, MI) to film Mom doing what she does best…creating “art” in the kitchen! However, it was her first appearance on “The Phil Donahue Show” that created the most overwhelming response to her talents than she could have ever expected… More to come on that next week!

Gloreos – The Oreo-Style Sandwich Cookies

Gloreos – The Oreo-Style Sandwich Cookies

When the Washington (DC) Post once interviewed the Nabisco people to ask how they felt about a Michigan housewife, claiming she could imitate their famous chocolate sandwich cookie at home, they were very insistent that it was impossible! Well, I felt if Hydroxy could come close, so could I – and I gave the big food company a taste of their own product!  – Gloria Pitzer

COOKIE INGREDIENTS:

18 oz. package devil’s food cake mix

2 eggs (eggs)

2 TB oil

1/2 cup Nestle’s Quick cocoa powder

COOKIE INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine cake mix, eggs + water, oil and cocoa powder. Blend well until you can form it into a ball. Let stand 20 minutes.

Form dough into 1/2-inch balls placed 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheet Flatten each ball with bottom of a greased once drinking glass that has been dipped in Nestle’s Quick powder to deepen the color of the cookies to resemble the originals.

Bake 8 minutes. Immediately out of the oven, flatten each cookie with the back of a pancake turner. Let cool 20 minutes while you prepare the filling.

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/4 cup cold water

1 cup Crisco

1 lb. + 1 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

FILLING INSTRUCTIONS:

Soften the gelatin in 1/4 C cold water and place in a pan of hot water until clear. Meanwhile, beat the Crisco until fluffy, adding the powdered sugar a little at a time.

Add the vanilla and cooled gelatin and beat 6 minutes. Shape into 1-inch balls and place between the bottom sides of two cookies, pressing them gently but firmly together until the filling becomes nicely rounded at the edges.

Chill about one hour to set the filling.

ASSEMBLY:

Shape the chilled  filling into 1-inch balls. Place each ball between 2 cooled cookies, on the bottom-sides of each. Press gently until filling has spread to the edges of the cookies like the originals. Makes 4 dozen sandwich cookies.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Grow & Make Your Own Groceries!

AboutOreos®

The Oreo cookie was developed and produced by Nabisco in February 1912 at its Chelsea factory in New York City (now Chelsea Market). It was created mainly to target the British market, whose biscuits were seen by Nabisco to be too ‘ordinary’. Originally, Oreo was mound-shaped and available in two flavors; lemon meringue and cream. In America, they were sold for 30 cents a pound in novel tin cans with glass tops, which allowed customers to see the cookies.

A newer design for the cookie was introduced in 1916, and as the cream filling was by far the more popular of the two available flavors, Nabisco discontinued production of the lemon meringue filling during the 1920s. The modern-day Oreo was developed in 1952 by William A Turnier, to include the Nabisco logo.

What a lot of people don’t know is that over 491 billion Oreo cookies have been sold since they were first introduced, making them the best selling cookie of the 20th century.

Check outwww.nabiscoworld.com/Oreofor more information about Nabisco and their entire line of great snacks.

A1-Style Steak Sauce

A1-Style Steak Sauce – by Gloria Pitzer

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup Dark Molasses

2 Green Onions (chopped)

3 TB Kosher Salt (coarse)

3 TB Dry Mustard

1 tsp Paprika

1/4 tsp Cayenne

1 clove Garlic (crushed — or, 1 tsp Garlic Powder)

1 Anchovy Filet (chopped — or, 1 TB Anchovy Paste)

6 TB Tamarind (Fresh — or, 1 TB Tamarind Extract)

1 tsp Pepper

1/2 tsp Fenugreek

1/2 tsp Powdered Ginger

1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 tsp Powdered Cloves

1/2 tsp Cardamom Seeds

3 drops Tabasco

6 oz. Rhine Wine

2 oz. Rose Wine

1 pint White Vinegar

1 TB Kitchen Bouquet

1 TB Postum Powder

INSTRUCTIONS:

Put all spices (except last 6 ingredients) through blender till fine powder. Place over low heat with half vinegar and simmer 1 hour; adding rest of vinegar a little at a time as mixture is reduced in bulk.

Stir in tabasco, wines, kitchen bouquet. cook 3 min to dissolve. Remove from heat.

Pour into crock or Tupperware-style container (2-qt.) let stand covered for 1 week. Then strain through a cheese- cloth, six times.

Bottle and cap tightly. keep refrigerated indefinitely. Freeze to keep for years.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Eating out at Home

About A1 Steak Sauce®

In the early 1800’s, Henderson William Brand was chef to King George IV of England where he created a special sauce that the king is so liked, he proclaimed it “A1”. By 1831 Brand had left the Royal Court to start Brand &Co. where he created meat extracts and essences. Brand was a better chef then he was a business man going bankrupt in 1850 forcing him to sell his business to W.H. Withall who knew that Brand’s products were England’s very best.

In 1862, Withall enters Brand’s Steak Sauce in the International Exposition in London, England. The sauce is again proclaimed “A1”. Thirty years later, A1 Steak Sauce® had made its way to U.S. and Canadian dinner tables. Over the next several decades, people start using A1 Steak Sauce® for a variety of other meats as well as vegetables.

In 1999, A1 Steak Sauce® is purchased by Renée’s Gourmet Foods Inc. and the company begins to refocus this A-1 back to its “Royal Roots”.

For more information, check out www.A1Sauce.com It has a variety of information including nutrition, their history, and what’s new.

Sanders-Style Hot Fudge Sauce (Recipe #1)

Sanders-Style Hot Fudge Sauce (Recipe No. 1)

By Gloria Pitzer, from Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; May 1982) [aka: Recipe #1]

Ingredients:

14 oz. Eagle Brand Milk (can)

14 oz. Karo Syrup (light)

12 oz. Nestles Milk Chocolate Chips (not the semi-sweet)

1/4 lbs. Butter

Instructions:

Combine ingredients in top of double boiler over simmering water and stir until chocolate melts. Continue to cook for 30 minutes, stirring a few times . Remove from heat, then beat with a mixer until smooth.

When cooled, pour into a jar and cap tightly. Refrigerate. Makes 32 servings.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Made With Love

About Sanders Candy Co.®

Sanders first opened in Downtown Detroit in 1875. Over the years, they expanded to over 57 stores covering the Detroit area. These stores not only sold candy, fudge toppings, and baked goods, but also had fountain counters serving light lunches, as well as an assortment of desserts including the popular Ice Cream Sodas, Sundaes and Hot Fudge Cream Puffs.

Sanders soon became the leading purveyor of candies in the Greater Detroit area and began to sell directly to national supermarket chains and other retailers in the area. Many of the national stores were outfitted with Sanders in-store bakery stations for cake decorating and more, while others featured the full line of Sanders products in their bakery departments.

Sanders still uses the finest quality ingredients in all of their chocolates, candies and fudge toppings following strict formulas created by Fred Sanders over 100 years ago.

For more information, check out www.SandersCandy.com It has a variety of features including information on parlor locations, career opportunities, and an online store so you can order these truly amazing products if you can’t find them in your area of the country.

Sara Lee’s-style Carrot Square Cake

Sara Lee’s-style Carrot Square Cake

By Gloria Pitzer, from her cookbook, Secret Fast-Food Recipes (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; March 1985, p. 94)

Cake Ingredients:

2 Eggs

1 tsp Vanilla

6 oz. Oil

1 tsp Salt

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

2 tsp Cinnamon

1 cup Sugar

1 1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour

1 cup Carrots, grated fine

1 cup Walnuts, well-chopped

1/2 cup Light Raisins, optional

Instructions for Cake:

Combine first 8 ingredients with electric mixer on medium-high. Beat 3 minutes scraping down sides of bowl often. Remove beaters. Stir in last 3 ingredients. Grease and flour 9″ square pan. Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake at 325 degrees F about 50 minutes. Cool in pan about 30 minutes. Frost with Cream Cheese Icing (below) and sprinkle with additional walnuts.

Icing ingredients:

6 oz. pkg. Cream Cheese, softened

1/4 lb. Butter

1 lb. Powdered Sugar

1 1/2 tsp Orange Extract

1 tsp Orange Peel (I use Spice Island brand)

1 TB Light Corn Syrup or Pancake Syrup

1 TB Cornstarch or Flour

Instructions for Icing:

Cream the cream cheese with the butter until light and fluffy, using med-high speed of electric mixer. Add half of the sugar, increasing speed to high. Add extract and peel and beat about 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl often. Resume beating adding remaining powdered sugar. Beat smooth. Frost sides and top of cake.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – It’s all Relative

About Sara Lee’s®

Sara Lee, often known for the long-running slogan “Nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee” is often misquoted as “Nobody does it like Sara Lee”. As companies go, so do theme lines. In 2006, Sara Lee announced a new company wide campaign: “the joy of eating.” The campaign was part of a restructuring of operations.

Today, Sara Lee sells food, beverage and household products in over 180 countries and has some 50,000 employees worldwide.

For more information, check out www.SaraLee.com It has a variety of information including nutrition, their history, and what’s new.

Schlotzsky’s-Style Sandwich Rolls

Schlotzsky’s-Style Sandwich Rolls

By Gloria Pitzer, Secret Restaurant Recipes (Secret Recipes, Marysville, MI; May 2001, p. 56)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Warm Water

1 TB Granulated Sugar

1 package Rapid Rise Dry Yeast

6 oz. Milk (very warm )

1/2 tsp Salt

1/4 TB Baking Soda (softened in 1 TB water)

2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour

Instructions:

In large mixing bowl combine warm water, sugar and yeast. Let stand about 5 minutes till very bubbly. With wire whisk add the rest with only 1 cup of the flour, beating to smooth dough. Beat in rest of flour until batter is thick and sticky but smooth, all flour being dissolved.

Divide dough between 5 ovenproof, Pam-sprayed, cornmeal dusted (let excess shake out) soup bowls (each 5 inches in diameter). Cover each one in a square of Saran wrap sprayed in a bit of Pam and that side down. Let rise almost an hour or till above rim of bowls or cans. Discard Saran pieces.

Bake on center rack of 375º F oven about 20 minutes or till golden brown. Let cool in containers on rack, spraying tops each in a bit of Pam while they cool to keep crusts soft.

To use for sandwiches – slice in half horizontally and grill on lightly buttered hot griddle as you would for grilled cheese sandwich or broiler toast till golden. Then fill with lettuce and assorted lunch meats and cheese or sandwich fillings.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Happy Smorgasbord!

About Schlotzsky’s®

In 1971, Don and Dolores Dissman opened a small shop on South Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas, home to The Original® by Schlotzsky’s. This one-of-a-kind, delectable sandwich is composed of a unique combination of premium meats, cheeses, and marinated black olives on fresh-baked Muffuletta bread.  The public went nuts for it.  Quickly, the sandwich developed a passionate customer following…and things started to take off for Don and Dolores.

40 years later and from humble origins, the chain grew to 759 stores in 2001 with over $400 million in sales. Today, Schlotzsky’s is an international franchise restaurant chain with locations in 35 states and six foreign countries. The Original® sandwich is still the mainstay of Schlotzsky’s, but today you can also enjoy fresh baked bread, delicious hot sandwiches and panini, specialty pizzas, toasted wraps, freshly tossed salads, gourmet soups, and more!

For more information, check out www.schlotzskys.com It has a variety of information including nutrition, their history, what’s new and some great franchise opportunities.

Source: schlotzskys.com &wikipedia.com

Wednesday’s Chili – Like Wendy’s-Style

Wednesday’s Chili

By Gloria Pitzer, originally from Eating Out at Home (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Sep. 1981, 12th Printing, p.16)

WHEN A VERY SUCCESSFUL HAMBURGER FRANCHISE decided to give the ‘Golden Arches’ a little nudge in the marketplace, it won the public’s approval by adding a velvety-textured, mildly-seasoned chili to its menu, which has not been duplicated by any other food chain. Today, it’s the leading lady of Wendy’s fast food menu. Here’s [Gloria’s] version…

Ingredients:

2 TB Oil

1 1/2 to 2 lbs. Ground Round

10-oz.. can French Onion soup

1 TB Chili Powder

2 tsp Ground Cumin

1/2 tsp Pepper

3 to 6 drops Tabasco (to taste)

21-oz.. can Red Kidney Beans (undrained)

6-oz.. can Tomato Paste

8-oz.. can Tomato Sauce

Instructions:

Brown the ground beef in the vegetable oil, crumbling the beef into rice-size pieces with the back of a fork.

Put the onion soup through a blender on high-speed until it’s smooth; then, add it to the beef mixture and mash it thoroughly again with the fork.

Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until the flavors are well-blended and the chili is piping hot!

Makes about 6 servings. Left-overs keep well in a covered container in refrigerator for a week, or freeze up to 6 months, but it should be thawed/re-heated in the top of a double boiler over gently simmering water. NEVER thaw frozen meat and tomato sauce over direct heat or it may scorch. Oven-thawing tends to dry it out quicker, evaporating the natural juices more than steaming it will do.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Entertaining!

About Wendy’s®

Founded by Dave Thomas in 1969, Wendy’s is the third largest hamburger fast food chain with approximately 6,700 locations and more than 46,000 people in its global operations recording $9.45 billion (USD) in annual sales.

Wendy’s menu consists primarily of hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, French fries and beverages but does not have a signature product such as the Whopper or the Big Mac. What is unique is that their burger patties are square. The burgers are also made from fresh ground beef, not frozen.

For the complete story of Wendy’s, visit www.Wendys.com, where you can find out everything you could possibly want to know about this amazing restaurant concept.

White Tassel Hamburgers (like White Castle’s)

White Tassel Hamburgers

By Gloria Pitzer, Secret Restaurant Recipes (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Apr. 1978, 6th Printing, p. 10)

Ingredients:

  • 4 TB Minced Onion
  • 1/4 cup Hot Water
  • 2 lbs. Ground Sirloin
  • 3 oz. Baby food Strained Beef (jar)
  • 2/3 cup Clear Beef Broth (or prepared Bouillon)

Instructions:

  1. Soak minced onion in hot water until soft. Mix ground sirloin & baby food strained beef with beef broth or prepared bouillon.
  2. Make patties uniform in size, flattening 3-4 ounces of meat mixture to 1/4 ” thick. Fry each patty quickly in 1 TB oil on a hot griddle. Make 3 or 4 small holes in the patties, with the tip of a knife or skewer, during frying to ensure even doneness. Cut hot dog buns in half and cut away the rounded ends. [Not available in 1981, companies now market “slider” buns!]
  3. Fry 1 tsp. of softened onions under each patty when turning to fry the other side. Slip patties into buns and serve with pickles, mustard & ketchup. Add chips on the side.
  4. The number of servings is questionable, depending on how many Sliders™ you can eat! Freeze whatever patties are not fried right away.

NOTE:  This recipe did not appear in the 1st printing of the Secret Restaurant Recipes cookbook…but, I don’t know if it was in any other printings between the 1st and 6th ones.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Imitation

About White Castle®

Founded Billy Ingram and cook Walter Anderson, White Castle is the oldest American hamburger fast food restaurant chain with its first locations opening in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas. It is known for square burgers, sometimes referred to as “sliders” (officially spelled and trademarked as “Sliders”) that were priced at five cents until the 1940s, and remained at ten cents for years thereafter.

Besides a being a great concept, with a killer little burger, White Castle also set some amazing records. First fast-food hamburger chain ever. First industrial-strength spatula. First mass-produced paper hat. First to sell a million hamburgers. First to sell a billion hamburgers. First frozen fast food for sale.

And something for all of the guys to remember, every year on February 14, White Castle offers to reserve a candlelit table for two, complete with a server for Valentine’s Day.

For more information, check out www.whitecastle.com It has a ton of information including nutrition, White Castle history and terminology, locations, what’s new and some great promotions.

Source: whitecastle.com & wikipedia.com